Long Beach votes to revoke permit for Superblock project

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LONG BEACH -

The Long Beach Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Thursday against a proposed luxury apartment complex known as Superblock.

The decision to revoke the developer's building permit was a victory for James Kirklin, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by a group of Long Beach residents appealing to the zoning board to pull developer iStar's foundation permit and height and density variances. The lawsuit argued that iStar failed to start building the oceanfront apartments within the first year of the approved permit.

"I'm thrilled with the fact that we won," Kirklin said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to put this entire episode to sleep."

The developer was granted the building permit and variances in 2014 and 2015 to build 522 luxury apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space in a vacant lot between Riverside and Long Beach boulevards. But construction stalled after iStar said it could not complete the $336 million project without tax breaks. Many residents objected when iStar asked the Nassau Industrial Development Agency for $129 million in tax breaks to build.

"The City of Long Beach has breached its contract with iStar and iStar will vigorously pursue its remedies," iStar Executive Vice President Karl Frey told News 12 in a statement.

City officials say they expect iStar to appeal the board's decision. Meanwhile, Kirklin and other residents say they're ready to continue their fight against the developer.

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